Occupation: Bank employee
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Born 1 August 1890 in Ikamatua.
Son of William Craven and Sara Mirfin (nee Walker). One of eight children, seven boys and one girl. He attended Little Grey School then Nelson Boys College from 1903 to 1906.
On leaving school, Melville began his working life at the Bank of New South Wales in Greymouth.
In 1914 Melville transferred to Palmerston North and this was his address up to enlisting.
He belonged to the Ambulance Corps which meant he was put straight into the Medical Corps.
Four boys of the family served in World War 1; Ashton, Stanley, George and Melville.
Melville commenced duty on 11 August as a Private and was attached to the New Zealand Army Medical Corps. He sailed for Samoa on 15 August on the Moeraki. While in Samoa he became ill with Dengue fever and spent a short period of time in the hospital.
Melville returned from Samoa on 7 April and re-enlisted on arriving back in Wellington.
He embarked on 21 May from Wellington for Egypt. He was attached to the No. 1 Stationary Hospital.
In December Melville was given special mention for gallant behaviour on 23 October when HM Transport Marquette was sunk by a German submarine torpedo. In all, 167 troops and crew died in this incident. Melville dived into the rapidly sinking ship to assist the patients from the sick bay to the main deck. After the ship sank he continued to assist people in the water and to get them into lifeboats.
Melville was appointed corporal in April. He embarked on the Dover Castle on 2 June at Alexandria and disembarked at Le Havre on 13 June.
In May he was appointed as Temporary Sergeant. At this time Melville was stationed in Amiens, France. In November he was promoted to Sergeant.
Melville was admitted to hospital once in 1917, for a period of 22 days. Once discharged he returned to his unit.
In June Melville spent time back in hospital with influenza and then had a short period of leave in France for 14 days in November. He was promoted to Staff Sergeant in December. The same month he had leave in England. Melville spent the rest of the war at various Stationary Hospitals in France.
At the end of the war Melville spent time in various administration jobs in London.
Melville sailed back to New Zealand and was discharged on 18 October.
Melville was one of four brothers who served in World War 1, with all four surviving.
Melville received a certificate from the King and signed by Winston Churchill as recognition of his actions during the war.
After the war Melville stayed in the same profession as a bank officer for the Bank of New South Wales but moved around with a few transfers. In 1931 Melville married Myrtle McKay.
Melville died in Christchurch on 25 November 1976 and Myrtle died in 1992.